John Amirante sang the national anthem at Madison Square Garden for 35 years.
John Amirante, the longtime national anthem singer for Rangers games at Madison Square Garden, died Tuesday morning, the team announced. He was 83.
Amirante started singing the anthem at the Garden in October of 1980 and did so on a regular basis until 2015, after which point he was invited back for special occasions like playoff games.
A Bronx native whose New York accent came through in his singing—“brawd stripes and bright stahs”—Amirante also sang the anthem for the Knicks, Yankees and Mets earlier in his career.
One of Amirante’s most famous anthems came before Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final.
“I couldn't hear myself, the Garden was so loud,” Amirante told New York magazine in 2009. “It was absolutely fantastic. I felt like I was ten feet off the ice. And I had chills going through my body, and the fans were just screaming and chanting. I loved every minute of it. And to this day, I can remember specifically how it was. It's a memory I'll never forget. And then the parade that followed, I was on a float, and the fans were singing the anthem to me as I went up Broadway. It was great.”